Prayut’s UTN advisor picks irk opposition MPs

  • The opposition slammed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s decision to appoint several key figures from the United Thai Nation (UTN) party as his advisers ahead of the election on 12 Jan, on the grounds that the appointment of the advisors were inappropriate, if not an outright ethical breach.
  • Fears of Prayut using the appointment to pave the way for an abuse of state funds is well pertinent within the opposition. In Prayut’s defence, PM’s Office Minister Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana clarified on Prayut’s behalf that the advisers’ appointments were well within the prime minister’s authority, and the advisers do not enjoy special privileges, and that any request for additional funds must be first approved by the Prime Minister.
  • Gen Prayut currently has six people serving as his advisors, with three being appointed this week alone. This gives rise to critics questioning the timing of the appointments and suspecting how it might give the UTN party an advantage over the other party.
  • Such suspicions are further corroborated by Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Mai, who said the appointment of UTN figures indicated Gen Prayut’s intention to use the party as a vehicle to return to power. She expressed concern these individuals could intervene to give the UTN an edge in the election.

External Link :